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Table Of Contents

An HR’s Guide to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Work

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Table Of Contents

It’s safe to say that promoting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) isn’t just a trendy buzzword in 2023 — it’s a necessary ingredient that’s critical to the success of any organization.

In simple terms, diversity is about creating a workplace where every employee feels like they belong and can contribute their unique perspectives and talents, like a big puzzle where every piece fits perfectly. Equity is about ensuring that everyone has access to the same opportunities and resources, like a game where everyone has a fair shot at winning. And lastly, Inclusion is about fostering a culture of respect and understanding, where everyone feels like they are part of the team — just like being invited to a party where everyone is having a good time.

Why is Diversity, Equity & Inclusion important?

According to the most recent State of HR report, 13% of respondents surveyed said they would invest in new DEI initiatives within the next year. And to be competitive in today’s evolving market, you need to act fast. Hence, implementing DEI in your HR strategy is essentially a no-brainer.

Not only are existing employees looking for inclusive and equitable work environments, but job candidates and customers are also increasingly drawn to socially conscious organizations. By prioritizing DEI in your HR strategy, you can not only attract and retain top talent but also build a positive reputation and increase your bottom line. 

Today, fostering a culture of equity and inclusion that welcomes and values all employees regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability is more important than ever. So, without further ado, let’s dive into 5 ways HR can promote DEI in the workplace!

5 ways to promote DEI at the workplace

Hire with DEI in mind

The first step to promoting DEI at work is to ensure that the recruitment process is fair and unbiased. 

HR should start by revising job descriptions and requirements to remove any implicit biases and make them more inclusive. Then, HR can use a variety of sourcing channels to reach a diverse pool of candidates, including social media, employee referrals, job fairs, and diversity-focused job boards. During the selection process, they can then use structured interviews and assessments based on job-related criteria to minimize subjectivity and bias. 

Finally, you can offer diversity and inclusion training to interviewers and hiring managers to ensure they are aware of their biases and how to avoid them. Even including a little blurb about your diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in a job description goes a long way, we promise!

Foster a culture of inclusivity at work

Creating a workplace culture that celebrates diversity is like a potluck – the more diverse dishes, the better your feast is. Diverse workplace cultures are essential to attracting and retaining diverse talent.

To do this, HR can start by conducting a survey or focus group to assess the current state of inclusion and identify areas for improvement. Based on the feedback, HR can develop a DEI action plan that includes initiatives such as mentoring programs, affinity groups, diversity training, and employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs can be formed around shared identities or interests, such as LGBTQ+, women, veterans, or people with disabilities, and provide a safe space for employees to connect, network, and support each other.

For example, you can start by organizing company-wide events that celebrate different cultural traditions, such as Diwali, Lunar New Year, or even Hannukkah. These events can be a fun and engaging way to bring employees together, learn about different cultures, and break down cultural barriers. With so much diversity to celebrate in our world, the options are truly endless!

Provide Diversity, Equity & Inclusion training

Training is critical to promoting DEI at work as it helps employees develop a better understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts and how they can contribute to creating an inclusive workplace. 

However, HR needs to make sure that this training is engaging, interactive, and fun, so that employees don’t fall asleep or start daydreaming about their next vacation in the process.

DEI training should be provided to all employees, including senior leaders, so everyone understands its importance and how it can benefit the organization. Training can cover a range of topics, such as unconscious bias, microaggressions, cultural competence, and allyship. HR can also use e-learning platforms, webinars, and workshops to make training accessible and convenient for all employees.

Monitor and measure your DEI progress

To ensure that DEI initiatives are effective and achieve the desired outcomes, HR needs to measure and monitor progress regularly. HR can use a variety of metrics, such as employee engagement surveys, turnover rates, promotion rates, and diversity data, to track progress and identify areas for improvement. 

HR can also benchmark against industry standards and best practices to ensure the organization is keeping pace with DEI trends and innovations. However, tracking progress doesn’t have to be boring or tedious. You can easily make it more interesting by creating a DEI dashboard that visualizes data in a creative and engaging way, such as using infographics, animations, or on social media. By making DEI progress fun and exciting, HR can create a culture of continuous improvement and inspire employees to get involved and make a difference.

Encourage employee feedback and input

Lastly, employees are a valuable source of feedback and input when it comes to promoting DEI at work. 

HR can encourage employees to share their experiences, ideas, and suggestions through surveys, focus groups, suggestion boxes, or regular check-ins with managers. You can also use feedback mechanisms to address any issues or concerns related to DEI and ensure that your employees feel heard and supported at the workplace.

Wrapping it up

In conclusion, promoting diversity, equity, & inclusion is not only the right thing to do — but also a smart one. 

Organizations that embrace DEI are more likely to and retain diverse talent, which is like having a colorful array of crayons in your box, enhancing innovation and creativity, which is like adding a little glitter to your art project and improving their bottom line, which is like finding money in the pockets of your old jeans. You get the picture. 

By implementing these five ways, HR can foster a workplace where every employee feels valued and respected, regardless of their background or identity. Ultimately, promoting DEI at work is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process that requires commitment and dedication on your part. With the right approach and mindset, organizations can reap the benefits of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, and create a better future for all.

Snigdha Gupta
Snigdha Gupta

An avid writer and aspiring marketer, Snigdha is a student at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business.

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